Achieving Organizational Objectives Through Effective Communication (A Case Study Of Bank PHB Plc, Kaduna)
Effective communication in any organization, regardless of its type and size remains critical to the achievement of organizational objectives. This is more so, when any break communication will result in chaos, misunderstanding and conflict. Bank PHB, PLC lays great emphasis on both oral and written communication for the successful accomplishment of its goals and objectives.
The objectives of this study therefore are; to find out different methods and channels of communication and how these can best be used in achieving organizational goals. It was to also find out the barriers and problems of communication and how they can be solved. Consequent upon which, some recommendations were to be made on how organizations can improve their system of communication for optimum performance and higher productivity. The study adopted the descriptive method through structured means. The data collected for this study were qualitative. Therefore, the research relied on descriptive analysis.
A summary of the findings indicate that effective communication is an important factor for any organization that wants to achieve its objectives. While it was also discovered that ineffective communication could lead to difficulties such as breakdown in communication, low morale, industrial conflict and low productivity.
The study proffers strategies to overcome the identified problems and also improve on the existing means of communication.
Communication is the glue that holds organisations together. Communication assists organizational members to accomplish both individual and organizational goals, implement and respond to organizational changes, coordinate organizational activities, and engage in virtually all organizationally relevant behaviours. Yet, as important as this process is, breakdowns in communication are pervasive. The anonymous with who said “I know you believe you understand what you think I said but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant” was being more than humorous; she or he was describing what every one of us has experienced: a failure to communicate.
To the extent that organizational communications are less effective than they might be, organizations will therefore be less effective than they should be. For example in many companies, new employee orientation programs represent the first important opportunity to begin the process of effective communication with an employee. At Marriot International, the worldwide hotel and resort chain, 40 percent of new employees who leave the organization do so during the first three months on the job. At least that had been true historically. Recently, the rate of departures has been significantly reduced because Marriot has embarked on a concerted effort to improve the content and manner in which it communicates with new employees during orientation. In addition to formally providing more information, each new employee is assigned a “buddy” who serves as a vital communication link to which the newcomer has unrestricted access. Marriot helps ensure that its frontline service personnel communicates effectively with their guests by ensuring that Marriot Communicates effectively with its employees starting from their very first day on the job.
It would be extremely difficult to find as aspect of a manager’s job that does not involve communication serious problems arise when directives are misunderstood, when casual kidding in a work group leads to anger, or when informal remarks by a top-level manager are distorted. Each of these situations is a result of a break down somewhere in the process of communication.
Accordingly, the pertinent question is not whether managers engage in communication inherent to functioning of an organization. Rather, the pertinent question is whether managers will communicate well or poorly. In other words, communication itself is unavoidable. Every manager must be a communicator. In fact, everything manager communicates something in some way to somebody or some group the only question is “with what effect?” This point will become apparent as you proceed through the chapter. Tremendous advances in communications and information technology among the people in organizations leaves much to be desired. Communication among people does not depend on technology but rather on forces in people and their surroundings. It is a process that occurs within people. Below is a simple input-out diagram showing the process of communication flow and evaluation.
Communication also serves as an instrument of social interaction. It help us to understand people, to understand them and predict their responses to situations. It is a means by which power is acquired, exercised and sustained; it is the medium through which relationships are established, attained and maintained. It also provide a means by which people in business world wide communicate, exchange information and developed plans. Communication helps orient workers to one another to achieve the goals of the organization.
Communication is the lubricant that keeps the machinery of the organization, it is the means through which roles are identified and assigned. It is the life blood of an organization. The above consideration of communication emphasizes its importance in human skill. To organise is to communicate. Thus no organization can survive without effective communication in achieving its objectives.
Human skills are all the skills that are required in order to understand other people and interact effectively with them. Managers need these human skills most in every aspect of their work especially in directing, since their main job is to get things done through people working with them and for them. An effective communication is one of the human skills all managers must possess, which is the ability to transfer information effectively. This should be complemented with the welfare of the staff which induces health care, promotion, accommodation, and staff development.
In an organization, the threat and weaves everything together is communication, it keeps internal operation running smoothly and at same time it fosters good relation with people outside the organization. Business men have to communicate in different ways to persuade people to patronize their business.
Successful communication is a two way process, a manager has to be attuned to the reaction of people to what has been said and more importantly to listen to what they have to say in return. “in this modern age, virtually life is modelled by both the message and the medium” in a home, there is the need for communication among the members of the Family. In the class room too, there is also the need for a teacher to impart knowledge to the students. In the business world-wide, communication must take place to keep such a business alive and active functioning. The manners at which people work and coordinate their efforts in achieving organizational objective depend greatly on how well they can communicate. Communication in an organization helps in the coordination of two or more people working together to achieve a common objective. It helps in solving and innovation of problems as problems are solved say in day out in the organization. For managers to lead effectively information skills training in the organization for managers to lead effectively, informing and influencing subordinate, peers, and supervision, is necessary. Also, in appraising and regulating the performance of the human resources, there is a direct relationship between communication skills training in the organization. Furthermore, in appraising and regulating the performance of the human resources, there is a direct relationship between communication and productivity. Employees work more effectively when managers show them that they are valuable to the organization through passage of memos, policy manuals written evaluation etc. Managers have to make communication clear for them especially in matters that affect them directly. Lacham and Mescon (1985) say “Even the best efforts to encourage good will and productivity will fail if a manager in one syllable barks”.
The need for effective communication in an organisation is great concern to both management and employees. Management awareness of the importance of communication is evidenced by the fact that: “Nigerian business men and industries spend a huge amount of money annually on improving communication with employees”. However, “Despite the importance of communication in most organization” This project therefore, intends to examine how ineffective communication can affect the objectives of an organization. It will also seek ways of achieving excellent communication in order to achieve the objectives of the organization with special reference to Bank PHB PLC, Kaduna.
1.1 History and Background of the Study
The Bank was formally known as Habib Bank limited which was incorporated as a private limited liability company in November 1982. It was granted Banking licence on 7th March, 1983 and recommended on 16th May of the same year. Bank PHB was formed 1st March, 2005 as a result of liquidation and unreliable and constant complains of the customers. As a result of this prevalent situation in the system, a measure was taken to ameliorate the problem. Thus, the issue of a merger and acquisition comes up. A target was given to every bank operating in Nigeria; to meet the sum of 25,000,000.00 (Twenty Five Million Naira) was set as target for every bank. This led to the bank coming together so as to meet up with the target. Platinum bank negotiated with Habib Nig bank Ltd and after several consultation, they reached an agreement and became Platinum-Habib Bank PLC on 1st March 2005.
The objective of this was to assuage the prevalent problem in the banking sector without customers having fear and doubt to transact any form of business with them. This has been introduced and maintained as a banking style with a difference in Nigeria. Bank PHB has developed sound bank with branch network in all states of the federation and the capital territory, Abuja. The Bank also provides financial and technical assistance to the public and private sector organization within the frame network of the financial plan and policies of the Nigerian government.
Mobilization of deposits by encouraging savings through the introduction of effective banking services and effective advertising programmes enabled bank PHB to venture into full range of rental banking services tailored to the needs of all services and professionalism with a difference. The main trust of the banks philosophy is the provision of quality service with emphasis not only on the enhancement of socio moral standards but also on the need to be responsive to the requirement and aspiration of the communities in which they serve. The board is presently composed of 7 Nigerians and 5 Pakistanis with Mr L.K Abiola as chairman while Mr Akin Kekere Ekun, (OFR) is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO). The bank started operation fully 1st March, 2005 as Platinum-Habib Bank PLC. All 58 branches are fully automated while plans have also reached an advanced stage in their conversion to computer on-line real time system. The management of PHB Plc are in the continuous process of training and development of their organization and their staff welfare, to meet up with the current challenges in the market.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In order to achieve the set objectives of any organisation, there must be effective communication within the organization and with its environment. When communication is poorly handled, there are bound to be problems of misunderstanding between management and employee in the organization.
The researcher has observed that most organizations experience the problem of distortion of information and misinterpretation of messages which can cause a lot of instruction given by the superior officer not to be properly carried out by the junior officers or even ignored.
Another problem, which affects organizations mainly, is the nature of its hierarchy. If there are too many levels in the hierarchy; the tendency is for a message to become distorted before going through all of them. The policy of communication in the organization is a related factor, if the organization is maintaining an open or close door communication policy. The pen door policy is certainly better enhanced through organizational growth where-as the reverse is the case with the close door communication policy. Other associated problems such as culture, values, sentiments, mental state and physical health of individuals on any given day, etc can also affect the flow of communication in some organizations.
The research therefore, intends to find out how these problems can affect the objectives of the organization and proffer ways of minimizing and if possible eliminating these problems.
Furthermore, the individual organization must be careful to always ensure the appropriateness of the choice of the medium of communication because the mistake made at that stage of the communication process in the organization is bound to affect the other stages negatively.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The research will no doubt show that importance of communication has gone a long way in affecting the objectives of any organization. Most managers and management give little or no attention to the importance of communication in their organization, yet, communication may well be said to be the most critical element in human resources system in achieving the objectives of the organization, since effectively downward communication is fundamental in making all of the other subsystem of human resources management operational also improve communication represents the single most cost effective means of improving productivity and performance. The objectives of the study include:
- To find out different methods and channels of communication and how best these can be used in achieving organizational objectives.
- To find out the barrier and problems of communication and how they can be solved.
- Finally, to give recommendation on how organizations can improve their communication system for higher and effective performance and higher productivity of the organization.
1.4 Research Hypotheses
The term hypothesis has been defined in various ways, by different scholars; Goal and Haff (1953) defined hypothesis as a question put in such a way that an answer of some kind can be forth coming. While, Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary defines the concept as a supposition or proposition assumed for the sake of argument: a theory to be proved or disproved by reference to facts. At this point two hypotheses have been propounded viz:
- HO: Effective Communication does not bring about achieving organizational objectives.
- HI: Effective communications brings about achievement of organizational objectives.
1.5 Justification of the Study
Communication can be said without any fear or contradiction that it has attracted great attention and this is because of its immense benefits to life as a whole and to the life of any organization. There has been great interest and discussions on the subject of communication. Most organizations are only effective when the desired result envisaged before the communication is achieved. A study into organizational communication and how its effectiveness helps in achieving its objectives. Therefore it is relevant to bring out such lapses that are inherent in most organizations.
1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study
There are several limitations to the successful collection of relevant data for the completion of the work.
The other major problems are as follows:
Seeing the two objectives of pursuing the academic work and within a given time for a project of this nature. To this end, the researcher had limited time to execute this project within the given time frame.
Considering the present economic situation in the country, the cost of limited project and researcher has to work out various financial modalities so as to be able to complete the work with the little financial resources available to him, thus avoiding other necessities.
3. Availability of Date:
It is very difficult to get the full details of data wanted for what are termed officially secret. Therefore, a research has to make use of limited data at his disposal in making the project successful.
Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendation
This Chapter, which is the final chapter of this project includes summary of findings, conclusions, recommendations, bibliography and appendices.
5.1 Summary of Findings
In summary, the researcher can say without any fear of contradiction that effective communication is an important factor for organization that wants to achieve its objectives. Ineffective communication leads to many difficulties such as break down in communication, lack of moral among workers, strikes, crises and low productivity. Therefore, for any organization to succeed, there must be effective communication in all aspect of today’s activities.
Employees in an organization must be well informed about the objective of the organization if they are to work towards that. Effective communication entails meeting with employees to know their feelings toward work performance and to give suggestion or contribute ideas to the organization where necessary. Organization conflict arises where there is no proper communication between management and workers, some times what workers agitate for is something that has since been resolved by management but which has not been communicated to the workers, organization can only achieve its objective without doubt if communication in organization is effective.
The following were findings based on the questions:
- 95% of the respondents in the organization were of the opinion that written communication is more important then oral communication in achieving organization objectives.
- That employees work excellently well when they are sufficiently informed about their job and the objectives of the organization through written communication.
- That there are general decreases in the performance of employees when their schedules of duties are not outlined to them in writing.
- That those who claim to be aware of organizational objectives do not work towards its accomplishment.
- That 10% of the work respondent said that work hand in hand contended that even though written communication provides evidence of tomorrow, organizations must use both oral and written communication to facilitate the achievement of its objectives.
- Also the upward forms of communication have shown to be important in achieving the objectives of the organization.
- That when employees are well informed about the objectives of the organization they perform better.
- That if employees are communicated with job incentives, they take pleasure in performing their job better.
- That generally, output increase when information about their job is passed to them on time instead of thee grapevine.
After analyzing the data collected and findings deduced, it can be safely concluded that one of the hypothesis tested was proved right, which states that effective communications brings about achievement of organizational objectives.
The study also revealed that oral communication is not more important than written communication in an organization. Although oral communication is important as the written communication, the importance of each can only be weighed with their advantages. This is also because most of written communications are discussed verbally before putting them in writing for future reference e.g. achieved record.
Furthermore, taking into consideration the research case study, the staff must be informed orally on their schedule of duties for good performance. However, oral communication can be said to be temporary, while written communication is permanent and based on this, it can clearly be seen that the hypothesis is wrong.
Similarly, “written communication is not more important in achieving the objectives of any organization than oral communication.” From the findings and analysis carried out, it was clear that written communication is an indispensable tool in achieving organizational objectives. This is because most of the decisions taken by management must be documented for future reference. More so, employees schedule of duties has to be outlined for them in writing to enable them know who is responsible to them. The researcher was able to deduce from findings that job incentives like promotion, departmental transfer etc must be communicated to them through writing.
Based on the research made in the organization and from the findings deduced the researcher would like to make certain recommendations to the management and employees of Bank PHB Plc Head office Kaduna, on the best way to use communication to achieve the objectives of its organization. These recommendation should not however be constituted that the researcher is saying the amount of communication taken place in the organization is totally ineffective.
- Although from the findings; it could be seen that there has never been any conflicts between the management and the employees but to prevent conflicts for future assurance, the communication net work should be improved.
- All matters concerning workers welfare should be made known to them immediately. For instance, if workers salary is delayed for one reason or the other, the management must pass a circular or any other method of informing them so that their job performance is not jeopardized.
- Communication roots should be made open as much as possible to discourage grapevine. Forms of communication roots in operation include downward, upward, vertical and horizontal. The need for grapevine will be reduced or eliminated completely as there will be no need for it again. It is only when there is ineffective use of communication channels that the grapevine will be necessary to set some information.
- The management should clearly define communication channels through its organizational chart since communication is a unifying means by which members of the organization are linked together to achieve the set objectives.
- The managing director should encourage open door policy and not take arbitrary decisions on the employees. That is to say employees (selected) should be part of decision making in the organization for such will create good working atmosphere.
Finally, since oral communication consist of about 75% of the total communication that take place everyday in the organizations even in our various homes, people should be encouraged to communicate clearly enough to avoid misinterpretation of messages.
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